Organizations in both the public and private sectors can improve their data protection practices by deploying cloud computing solutions, according to a recent report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

According to the report, organizations can benefit from moving their digital information from their own in-house data centers to a virtual infrastructure. By doing so, companies will alleviate some of their IT staff's data protection responsibilities and transfer it to cloud service vendors, who are often more capable of handling such duties.

In the past, some industry observers have been critical of the cloud's security. However, that is beginning to change as the technology matures and service vendors improve their data protection capabilities.

"Much of the burden of security will shift from consumers and businesses to service providers that may be better equipped to meet advanced challenges," the report states.

In addition to protection, the cloud can also provide businesses with greater data recovery capabilities, because it often reduces the time it takes for a company to become operational after an IT-related outage. According to a recent study by CA Technologies, IT outages cost businesses in North America $26.5 million in revenue every year.

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